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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain

Jul 25, 2014 - Old Barcelona

We were met on our arrival in Barcelona by Pepe and Erika, long time friends of ours from Denise's days in the Congo, and with whom we spent a few brief days before going on to Mark's and Valerie's place just an hour south of the city. Whether it was on the porch in the evenings with cava, or at the breakfast table in the mornings, or enjoying tapas or a meal at a nearby hillside cafe or at spot in the city center, or walking the narrow streets and courtyards of the old sector of Barcelona city, it was a beautiful time of reflecting on the...

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Travels 2014

Jul 17, 2014 - Barcelona

After Lyon we got back on the bus and had a loooong drive to Barcelona. Spain is so beautiful! Similar feel to Mexico because everyone is really laid back and chill. During the day the shops close for siesta because it is too hot to work and they would prefer to eat and drink. The nights out are crazy. 1am is early to get to the bar and we partied until the sun came up. It was unreal. I got a bunch of free drinks at the bar because with entry you get a free drink and I tipped with it do the bartender remembered me haha. The perk of being...

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Taking Back My Brave

Jul 9, 2014 - Barcelona July 8-9

BARCELONA! So the first day dad wakes up at the crack of dawn and goes to the market to look at all of the amazing food. I sleep in until he wakes me up at 11 to take me to a light breakfast at the corner restaurant on our street. We take a longish walk to see the Sagrada Familia (when will they finish?!) While we were there we also saw another Gaudi building, Casa Batllo (Gaudi 2) several blocks away. Then we start our even longer walk to the beach. We accidentally walk into a gigantic park to find an amazing fountain that we later find...

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Jul 7, 2014 - Paris to Barcelona

We decided to take a cab (our first) from the hotel to the Gare D'Lyon (across the city) for our 10am train. I can't say I was really looking forward to 5.5 hr train ride but I shouldn't have been concerned. After a coffee and our platform being announced, we found our coach and boarded, The trains are quite impressive, 2 levels and huge in size. It was hard to imagine these could (or should) go over 100 miles an hour. The train ride was amazing, comfortable and fast. The first stop was Lyon after 2 hrs. It's 290 miles from Paris - do the...

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Jul 5, 2014 - Barcelona revisited

It's always great to revisit a city, although after spending time in other parts of Spain, I was not as enamoured with this fine city as much as I was during my first visit. I love the Gaudi influence throughout the city as well as Picasso's presence but it is a big, bustling city with way too many tourists, touts and commercial areas - a typical major city. As I had visited all the major sights 2 years ago, I had a lovely couple of days revisiting a couple of special places like the Segrada Familia, Cathedral etc but enjoyed just wandering...

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Jun 23, 2014 - Last day in Barcelona

The Mountain and tapas with new friends: I had a very lazy start and eventually made my way to Montjuic (literally Mount of the Jews) to visit the Catalan Art Museum and the area built for the 1929 World Exp and then updated for the 1992 Olympics. The Museum’s Modernisme and Art Deco exhibits were closed which was disappointing but the Romanesque area was great. It includes frescoes, statues and alter fronts rescued from a number of remote Catalan village churches and now displayed as they were in situ (they have recreated the interior of...

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Val's Adventures

Jun 23, 2014 - Barcelona - Gaudi

Day 2 was my Gaudi day starting with a booked tour of Casa Milla – an apartment building designed and built by Gaudi for the Milla family. The roof top chimneys and vents are probably the best known part of the building but the rest, though not as spectacular, was equally interesting. “Rick” and I toured the Example area with all the other Modernesta buildings, squares etc – very different and enjoyable. Then I was off to Sagrada Familia church. This was really the only thing I remembered well from my last visit to Barcelona (35 years...

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Val's Adventures

Jun 23, 2014 - Barcelona - the Palau and music

Day one was capped with a concert at the Palau (Palace of Catalan Music). It’s a centerpiece of Barcelona’s Modernista Architecture – what an amazing place – largely decorated in ceramics and mosaics. I felt very metropolitan and arrived for tapas prior to the concert – hoping the extra fuel would ward off jet lag and the need for a nap during the concert. No need to worry – the concert was amazing: a choir doing a very contemporary piece by Humet (sounded incredibly difficult with all the things they did with pitch and timing) then a...

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Val's Adventures

Jun 20, 2014 - Montserrat

June 20 After showering, I went out to the shops to pick some fruit, water and sandwiches for our trip to Montserrat. At the train station we paid 20 Euros each for two return tickets to Montserrat, including the cable car…such a deal. There is a choice between a rack rail line and the cable car… a tough choice between a thrilling sky ride or a classic train experience but we thought the cable car gave us a better chance to get back in time to pick up our laundry. We caught the 10:36 a.m. train…a bit of a milk run but it took only one hour...

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Jun 19, 2014 - The Olympic Park and cycling the beachfront

June 19 Our friendly Spanish/Pakistani grocer (a really nice guy) walked me to a Lavendria (laundry service) to drop off our accumulated laundry. Coin laundries are scarce in Barcelona so we opted for the full service option. It wouldn’t be done until Friday between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. so we would have to plan our return from Montserrat accordingly. The plan for this day was to start with a visit from Espana Station to the Olympic Stadium and then to work our way to the waterfront to rent bikes to cruise the beaches. A series of escalators...

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Jun 18, 2014 - A Gaudi day

June 18 After two late nights in a row, we slept in and had a slow, lazy morning. For 14 Euro each, we bought 2-day Metro passes to go around the city and see yesterday’s sights up close and with more time. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia, after a quick sidewalk lunch on the way. There is a nice urban park in front of Antony Gaudi’s masterpiece where we lingered a while but it was far too busy to go inside the cathedral. Instead, we got back on the Metro for Gaudi’s residential creation, Casa Batllo (pronounced “By-oh”), which was...

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Jun 18, 2014 - Barcelona

BARCELONA Barcelona really is an amazing city. The city is clean, there are lots of squares (Placas) surrounded by interesting architecture, wide main thoroughfares lined with plane trees, pedestrian streets – a great place to wander and wonder. The central core is quite compact and very walkable. With Rick’s Pocket Barcelona tucked in my bag, pre-bookings to the hot sights, and my planned 3 day itinerary etched in my brain I was bound to see it ALL – and I nearly did!! June 2 & 3: I arrived in the early evening and as my hotel was right...

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Val's Adventures

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